Those who want to change their gender status won’t have to receive any kind of medical diagnoses to do so, the British Equalities Minister announced Sunday.
While people who want to change their gender have to prove that they’ve been transitioning for at least two years, they don’t need to show that they have a “gender dysphoria” condition anymore to be legally recognized by the government as a trans woman or man, according to the News Tribune.
The proposed measure means that no medical proof will be necessary for the law to recognize a person’s gender as unidentified or different than their birth gender on legal documents like driver’s licenses, passports, legal documentation, or marriage licenses. Changing gender identification on birth certificates is still under contention in the U.K.
The British government is trying to address “some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our laws,” Equalities Minister Justine Greening said, according to the Guardian. Many in the transgender community have expressed frustration over the dysphoria law, arguing that it’s an intrusive and unjust requirement.
“This government is committed to building an inclusive society that works for everyone, no matter what their gender or sexuality and today we’re taking the next step forward,” Greening said.
Some worry that making the gender change process easier is unsettling and dangerous to both society and transitioning people. “In my view, it should not be easy to do something as massive as change your gender and the law is there to protect us, normally from other people, but also sometimes from ourselves,” said Mary Douglas, a spokeswoman for Grassroots Conservatives.
“It’s certainly not intended to be insulting but if, for example, you have someone with anorexia who says ‘I am too fat’ … it’s not actually respectful or loving to affirm that person in a belief that is false, that doesn’t tie up with reality,” Douglas added.
Until recently, gender dysphoria was considered to be a mental illness among doctors, and “I don’t see that anything has changed,” Douglas told reporters.
The new plan will have to be drafted into legislation and go before Parliament before it can become law.
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